Francis Gindl joined the 4-H Corn Club in 1939, but he soon found that 4-H had much more to offer. He was the first 4-H member in his club to raise more than 100 bushels of corn per acre. He participated in public speaking, beef, swine, poultry, and tractor maintenance projects. He also joined a state 4-H livestock judging team.
He became a volunteer leader with the Barrineau Park 4-H club, which is the longest operating 4-H club in the state of Florida. The club’s projects included consumer judging, tractor maintenance, livestock, and public speaking. His club participated in Florida 4-H Legislature, Florida 4-H Congress, the Pensacola Interstate Fair, and community service projects. His club was the first one to be integrated with both boys and girls in 1965 and then racially in 1972.
He shared many of his skills with youth and adults in 4-H. He taught the state 4-H record book workshop for extension agents at the University of Florida and obtained community service grants for 4-H projects. He hosted an exchange student from Brazil with the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) program.
Reflecting on his more than sixty years of experience with 4-H as a member and volunteer leader, Gindl says that 4-H helped him become a people person. It also helped him improve his speaking ability, and raise his confidence. He says 4-H enabled him to successfully teach classes at a large industrial plant as part of his job.
He devoted 63 years of his life to 4-H as a youth and as an organizational leader to the oldest continuing 4-H club in Florida. Gindl still serves the 4-H program as a resource volunteer and advisory member. He also sits on the Langley Bell 4-H Center Board of Trustees.
The impact Gindl made on Escambia County 4-H is still felt today in livestock, public speaking and community service project areas. He was recognized with the State 4-H Alumni award in 1964 and was selected as the 4-H volunteer leader of the year in 1976.
Gindl’s support of and participation in 4-H at the county, district and state levels make him an outstanding volunteer for 4-H in Florida.